Doctors at NYU Langone are experts in using the most effective procedures to treat a urethral stricture. Your doctor works with you to choose the procedure that best suits your needs, depending on the length and location of the stricture. Currently, there are no medications available to treat this condition. However, your doctor may prescribe a medication to treat complications of urethral stricture, such as urinary tract infections.
Dilation is an option for shorter urethral strictures that are less than one centimeter in length. For longer urethral strictures, or for those that have returned after treatment, dilation is not usually effective in providing long-term relief, so surgery is usually recommended.
Local anesthesia is required with dilation, during which a doctor often uses rubber or metal instruments to stretch and widen the urethra. At NYU Langone, however, doctors perform this procedure using a balloon catheter, which is inserted into the urethra and slowly inflated in order to widen the stricture. This procedure is generally safer and more comfortable than dilation with rubber or metal instruments, because only the narrowed area of the stricture is stretched.
Urethral dilation is usually performed in the doctor’s office, and patients are able to return home the same day. A catheter is left in place for a few days to divert urine, allowing the urethra to heal.